I don’t have many babies in my life anymore but these were two fun things to make anyway. When choosing ingredients for little ones it is important to choose plants that are non toxic/safe and unlikely to cause allergic reactions. Always do a spot test on a baby’s wrist just in case. Aster allergies are rare. Calendula and chamomile fall into that family. But both are common ingredients in products used with children. I love the ingredients chosen for both of these recipes. They are all gentle yet effective. These herbs also have energies that resonate well with the young.
Herbal Baby Powder
1/8 cup EACH of the following dried herbs-slippery elm bark, calendula flowers, thyme, lavender, and chamomile. Run them through a coffee/spice grinder in batches. Then through a flour sifter to get a fine powder.
1 cup betonite clay
1 cup of arrowroot powder
Combine all of your ingredients, stir well but gently with a spoon (try not to inhale the dust as it settles). Use a funnel to fill a salt shaker or other suitable container. Use as needed on your baby’s bottom. Keep/store away from children.
Diaper Rash Cream
1 cup of calendula infused oil
1/4 cup of plantain infused oil
3/4 cup of beeswax beads
4 TBSP of boiled water
1 tsp of betonite clay
10 drops of lemon EO
5 drops of chamomile EO
Melt the infused oils and beeswax beads in a double boiler.
Stir the clay into the boiled water and mix until smooth. Add in the essential oils. Combine this with the melted ingredients.
Pour into jars or tins. Use as needed.
Calendula (pot marigold). Latin name: Calendula officinalis. Family: Aster. This extremely attractive herb has bright yellow/orange medium sized flowers. It has many petaled daisy like ray petals. (single or double) surrounding the darker disk. The entire plant is slightly fuzzy and a lovely shade of jade green. Calendula grows 1-2 feet tall stem that forms many angular branches terminating in a single bud. The leaves are alternate, oval/sword shaped and about 3 inches long. The seeds are very distinctive forming a good sized brown spiney spiral. The blossoms are slightly resinous/sticky and have a certain smell. This easy to grow plant is native to Asia but grows all over the world. It is often a self seeding annual or when the winters are mild, a perennial. It prefers a garden location or area that is open and very sunny. Because it produces so many seeds it can spread and take over very quickly if you do not thin in the spring. Deadheading will give you an overabundance of blooms most of the summer. Calendula will bring a lot of native pollinators into your yard. The flowers are harvested just as they open and work best when they are dried thoroughly soon afterward.
Calendula is such a versatile and useful plant. One of the few that can be used externally, internally and in food. The plant part harvested for medicine is the bright orange flower. When used internally this herb is thought to clear phlegm, toxins, chronic infection and inflammation. It stimulates white blood cell production and inhibits the growth of several micro organisms. Herbalists have used calendula to treat candida, ulcers, gingivitis, stomach/digestive issues, gastritis, swollen lymph nodes, herpes, painful periods, childhood illnesses, and stimulate the immune system. I use the dried flowers a lot in electuaries and glycerites to support health during the winter. Calendula is thought to have many antiseptic and antibacterial properties. When used externally as a wash, compress, poultice, foot soak, salve, lotion or oil-it can be used to treat many skin conditions. Burns, bug bites, impetigo, ring worm, chilblains, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, ear infections, thrush, diaper rash, eczema, sunburn, warts, callouses, bunions, boils, bruises, chapped skin, athletes foot, dandruff, hair loss, and cradle cap. Historically a cold infusion of calendula has helped those suffering from conjunctivitis/eye infections. The flowers have amazing wound healing properties serving to nourish fragile skin, prevent scars, and form granulation tissue. This plant has been used as a dye for both grains and textiles, similar to saffron. When used as a hair rinse it might bring out highlights in blonde hair. Calendula has some sticky resins and it releases a lot of water when infused. I prefer to use the dried flowers in any preparations that involves an oil, honey, or glycerin base. This insures that there will be no mold. It is one of the few plants that I do not use fresh when making a salve or lotion.
ENERGETICS: bitter, pungent, cool, dry.
CONTRAINDICATIONS: none except aster allergy.